Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens. Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core. Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.
On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me. She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.
This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.
Now that we know the shootings last week in Manhattan near the Empire State Building were a curious mix of both murder and bystander-gone-wrong, I’d like to take a moment to deconstruct the dramatic unfolding of events that happened that morning over a 2.5 hour arc to demonstrate how the social news spread first, as a terrorist attack on the Empire State Building, and ultimately became the truth of a revelatory revenge murder.